Steven L. Graff: Lawyer with Aird & Berlis LLP

Steven L. Graff

Toronto,  ON  Canada

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Practice Areas

  • Financial Services
  • Insolvency & Restructuring
  • Litigation
  • Gaming
  • Infrastructure
  • Distressed Real Estate Assets
University Faculty of Arts & Sciences, University of Toronto
Law SchoolUniversity of Western Ontario, LL.B., 1989
Admitted1991, Ontario


Turnaround Management Association


Steven Graff joined the firm in 1989 and became a partner in 1994. He is a member of the firm's Financial Services and Litigation Groups.


Steven practises in the area of financial services and primarily in bankruptcy and insolvency. He has strong ties in the financial sector and acts as counsel for many of the Canadian Schedule I banks and other financial institutions. He has also had the opportunity to represent several U.S. private equity investors concerning their positions in various Canadian insolvencies and restructurings. In addition, he acts on behalf of many of the well-known professional advisory firms in their roles as monitors, trustees in bankruptcy and receivers. He advises landlords, municipalities, trade suppliers and debtors in all aspects of insolvency law, including bankruptcy, proposals, reorganizations, enforcement of security, and in protecting rights outside of insolvency proceedings.

Steven also acts on behalf of a number of the above institutions in their credit origination matters by structuring and papering their financing transactions.

Steven previously practised in the field of corporate/commercial litigation where he litigated a wide range of cases of a sophisticated commercial nature, including cases involving insolvency and restructuring, securities issues, shareholder disputes and criminal rates of interest, among others.

Teaching Engagements

Taught the insolvency section of the Bar Admission Course for nine years

Guest lecturer at the University of Toronto on negotiations in insolvencies

Special Designations

Recommended by Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business as a top practitioner in Restructuring/Insolvency (Canada)

Noted in The Legal 500 Canada for his expertise in the practice area of Restructuring and Insolvency

Articles By this Lawer

Insolvency Aspects of the Purchase and Sale of a Distressed Business in Canada September 21, 2009
Steven Graff, Ian Aversa
When Things Go Bad - Practical Remedies for Landlords and Tenants in Dealing with Bankruptcy, Insolvency, Trustees and Receivers: The Choices Available to an Insolvent Tenant March 6, 2009
Steven Graff, Ian Aversa

List of Selected Publications

Steven L. Graff

Author, Will 'deepening insolvency' come to Canada? Lawyers Weekly, November 16, 2006.

Author, Priorities in Proposals and Arrangements, Priorities in Insolvency seminar, Canadian Bar Association, 1995.

Author, The Law of Distress - A Tenant's Perspective, chapter in the book Tenant's Rights and Remedies in a Commercial Lease: A Practical Guide, Canada Law Book, 1995.

Co-author and editor, Landlord's Rights and Remedies Against a Commercial Tenant, chapter summarizing landlords' rights and remedies under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act, 1995.

Author, two editions of Aird & Berlis LLP Insolvency Newsletter, distributed to insolvency law practitioners throughout Canada.

Author, Mortgagees and Their Obligations Vis-?-Vis Public Utilities, Commercial Insolvency Reporter, 1994.

Author, Employee Issues in Insolvency, Insolvency Institute's Technical Update, 1990.

Selected Speaking Engagements

Co-speaker, Making the Decision: Enforcement, Restructuring or Staying Pat? Strategies for Responding in Troubled Times, Enforcing Creditors' Rights Conference, 2009.

Panellist, 'When things go bad' - Practical Remedies for Landlords and Tenants in Dealing With Bankruptcy, Insolvency, Trustees and Receivers, ICSC Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference, 2009.

Speaker, The Latest Developments and Red Flags You Need to Know About to Effectively Serve and Protect Your Clients, Commercial Loan Finance & Security Conference, 2008.

Co-author of Importing U.S. Concepts Into Canadian Insolvency Proceedings, The Six Minute Insolvency & Restructuring Lawyer seminar, The Law Society of Upper Canada, 2005.

Panellist, Insolvency and Restructuring Forum, CAIRP seminar, 2004.

Speaker, Liabilities of Directors to Creditors - Who Needs a Fiduciary Duty, Canadian Institute seminar, July 2004.

Speaker, The Quick Flip of Assets - Is there a Remedy Available? Six Minute Debtor-Creditor Seminar Ontario Bar Association, 2003.

Speaker, Restructuring Limited Partnerships, CCH seminar, 1994.

Co-authored a paper entitled, Bankruptcy Law Reform and the Provisions of the New Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, delivered at several Aird & Berlis LLP in-house seminars, 1992-93.

Reported CasesRepresentative cases and transactions: Steven Graff; List of Recent CCAA Mandates (excluding lending institution mandates); Retained to act on behalf of two shipping companies, Vanguard and Vanship, in respect of their filings under the CCAA. Retained to act for Scott's REIT (now KeyREIT) to represent the REIT in connection with Priszm Brand's filing under the CCAA and Scott's position as the landlord of 220 of Priszm's locations. Retained by Extreme Fitness and its primary shareholder, Falconhead Capital, a New York based hedge fund, in connection with Extreme's filing under the CCAA. Retained by Patient Care Automation Services Inc. in connection with its filing under the CCAA. Retained by John Forsyth Shirt Company in connection with its filing under the CCAA. Retained by various mortgage investment corporations in connection with the CCAA proceedings of Edgeworth Properties. Retained by Ernst & Young Inc. in its capacity as monitor appointed in respect of Farley WinDoors' CCAA proceedings. Retained by Buck or Two (formal name - Extreme Retail) in connection with its filing under the CCAA. Retained by BDO Dunwoody, the Monitor appointed in connection with Burlington Industries' filing under the CCAA. Counsel to an automotive parts manufacturer in its reorganization under the CCAA and Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code. Acted for a major retail chain which specialized in selling home appliances in connection with its CCAA proceeding. Acted for a TSE listed auto parts maker in its CCAA proceeding. Acted for a U.S. publicly listed, Canadian based forestry products company in its CCAA proceeding. Acted for a large hotel in its CCAA proceedings. Most Recent Mining Experience; Retainer by an ad hoc committee of the unsecured Noteholders of Frontera Copper Corporation in connection with Frontera's recapitalization and plan of arrangement pursuant to the Canada Business Corporations Act (the Arrangement). Starfield - Retainer as independent counsel to Starfield Resources' board of directors in connection with Starfield's filing under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada). Retained by the Noteholders of Blue Note Mining in connection with Blue Note's filing under the CCAA. Specific DIP Lending Experience (not an exhaustive list); Retained to act for the DIP lenders in connection with Slater Steel's CCAA proceeding. Retained by Salus Capital in connection with its DIP loans to Coppley. Provided counsel to DIP lending syndicate in relation to a large cross-border insolvency in the steel Industry. Represented Liquidation World Inc. in connection with the consideration of various strategic alternatives resulting in a sale of all of its outstanding shares to Big Lots, Inc. by way of a plan of arrangement. Under the terms of the agreement, Big Lots acquired all outstanding shares of Liquidation World, thereby acquiring Liquidation World's 89 Canadian stores in the process. This transaction was completed on July 18, 2011. Counsel to a large Canadian Pension fund in connection with the recovery of its investment in an online grocery retailer. Acted for the court-appointed Receiver of an Ontario-based trucking company in recovering, returning and realizing upon its fleet of vehicles. Acted for the stalking horse bidder in connection with the acquisition of the assets of Tiger Brand Knitting Company Limited. Acted for the acquirer of the franchise business of Buck or Two retail chain of dollar stores, comprising approximately 150 franchise locations. Counsel to senior lender in the restructuring of a significant livestock enterprise.

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Office Information

Steven L. Graff

181 Bay Street, Suite 1800
TorontoON M5J 2T9

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